Configuring VMware ESXi as a Workstation

Virtualizing Compute and Video but not Keyboard, Mouse & HDD :) Overview: i was looking for a single machine Mac + Win solution… working from one primary desktop and remoting to the other… this is of course the general posture of all the popular VM “Workstation” products but they gave me heartburn for one reason or another (see Motivation) ESXi –VMWare’s FREE HyperVisor product– can support Mac (unlike Windows Hyper-V) yet requires some configurations of HDD, Video & USB to accomplish the desired single machine workstation footprint, hence these notes

Sizing a Battery Backup (aka UPS)

I live in the Seattle area, apparently we get a nice windy storm around every Thanksgiving… sure to form, we lost power for a nice long 24 hours starting 11/17/2015… so i finally ordered a low end generator… and then i started wondering about including a UPS for computer up-time continuity during the momentary brownouts that happen when the wind is jacking with our power grid. Power Requirements nice reference Typical UPS units will be rated in VA (Volt-Amps) aka Apparent Power … and possibly in Watts aka Real Power as well The difference between these two comes from concept called Power Factor… PF = Real / Apparent… quick backgrounder: a “purely resistive” load like an old school incandescent light bulb will have a PF = 1 where VA and Watts are equal whereas the typical implementation of AC to DC in a PC PSU represents an inductive load which causes the Amperage sine wave to lag behind the Voltage yielding a PF < 1 where some energy is “lost” – helpful physical analogy – see horse and boat – it does beg the question where this energy is actually lost to… in the physical horse/boat scenario it’s easy to think it goes to friction/kinetic but i don’t have it pinned down in the AC/DC scenario… perhaps wasted in underutilized electromagnetic field Ideally your UPS will be rated for both their VA & Watts capacity but if only VA, then it is common to expect a UPS to handle Watts at 60% of it’s VA rating … i.

2015Q1 Haswell-E X99 Build

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 – LGA 2011-v3 CPU: Intel i7-5820k – 6 core Haswell-E Cooler: Corsair H80i GT PSU: Corsair HX750i RAM: Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) Ballistix Sport (DDR4 PC4-19200 2400 MHz, 16-16-16 CAS) Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Advanced – love that rubber top handle! 🙂 SSD: SAMSUNG 850 EVO 500GB Video: Asus Strix Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB … this card is a perfect fit in my book: No drivers necessary to vanilla boot into Yosemite – no QE/CI out of box but very workable for initial install and then full QE/CI via Nvidia “webdriver”.

Installing Windows in UEFI Mode

Motivation – Booting Windows in UEFI mode offers a couple mild advantages: it’s more compatible with Clover if you’re booting OS X this way already it’s supposedly the fastest boot sequence For motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 Notes / Lessons Learned: Disconnect all other drives than the one installing to existing windows drives get targeted for reusing their boot partition and wouldn’t create all 4 “ideal” GPT UEFI partitions present on a cleanly installed drive (Recovery, System, MSR, Primary) having my Mac Clover drive connected during these attempts allowed the setup utility to clobber my Clover boot with the Windows bootloader … reinstalling Clover via VMware OS X guest DID NOT put the UEFI Clover bootloader back in charge!

[SOLVED] Acer Aspire One won’t boot Syslinux USB thumbdrive

Looks like my particular issue was the default partition size on my 16GB thumbdrive. Once I formatted the USB with a 2GB partition and installed Syslinux to that, it booted up right away where previously it would hang on the first “Syslinux Copyright Peter Anvin” message. More details: Acer Aspire One model#: 722-C62bb (looks like this is an 11” model) Always handy to have another computer to work from (for web searching, trial and error formats on the USB drive, etc) when trying to fiddle with boot issues on another… my other computer is a Win8 desktop.

Man Cave Bling – Beer Fridge – Koldfront 80 (BBR900BL) by EdgeStar

First one was a dud out of the box. Just didn’t cool at all. EdgeStar support said it was missing coolant. Took them about 2 full weeks to turn around the replacement. They paid all replacement shipping via printed return label. It was a new serial number, not a repair of my old one, and it looked new. I am very satisfied now with this second unit and would definitely recommend it.

Trailer Hitch Bike Rack

After fair amount of homework, went with the Softride “Element” 4-bike rack… pricing is consistently $210’ish and I went with my local REI for solid local support. Was torn between this Element and the $70 more big brother “Dura” model… which adds “anti-sway cradels” (i.e. seat tube rubber wraps) + built in lockup cable + hitch bolt lock + beefier + 5 lbs… I’m thinking I’ll be good at rigging my own anti sway (via old inner tubes & bungees), the rest really didn’t appeal to me and (I presume since we chose the low end 4 cyl.

Roof Cargo Box

Installed this last night… found in local Pep Boys inventory… blasted them with a $20 coupon that expired that day 🙂 so was out the door at $210 + tax. This PepBoys SKU is barely a rebrand of the SportRack “Voyager XL”… the manual inside is OEM, headered with “90274 Voyager XL” and “A90275 Aero XL”… one forum I read said this bugger gets down around $100 sometimes during PepBoys promos… something to keep an eye on.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (P6800)

(My previous go to device, the Samsung Q1 Ultra.  She served us well. 🙂 Have we come a long way in 5 short years??? Samsung’s Official Landing Page for the gtab 7.7 Highlights: 7.89mm (0.31 inch) thick – just amazing to hold 345 grams (0.76 lb) – makes for a great eReader… the brushed Alu back is nicely grippy after your hand has warmed it up for few secs (our Kindle 3G is 247g, 8.

ATI 5450 with Hackintosh (OSX 10.8.5)

(my X1300 post) I still believe someone will get the x1300 running QE on Lion… the fact that the old 7187 DevID is still present in AT13000Controller gives me faith … if it weren’t for another motivation, I would just wait. My other motivation is that it would be nice to upgrade to 3 displays, adding a Dell 30” to the current 24” and projector. So, my criteria are: Fanless, reasonably Hackintosh compatible, 3 display support, <$100 (the x1300 was $30 🙂 and lastly, nothing too hot/huge … turns out, there aren’t really that many obvious options to choose from… I’ve come to understand that to go from 2 displays to 3 displays basically requires a DisplayPort capable card aka “DP” (at least in ATI land… I’m less familiar with nVidia models).